Full battery: July 2020

This month I finally got to take some time off, and it led to a deeply satisfying – and very rewarding! – uptick in my reading progress.

Let’s look at what I read – and more!


Art by Jamie McKelvie
Marvel’s Black Widow: Bad Blood

I finally got a decent chance to resume my Serial Box reading/reviewing, and while there are a couple of other serials on my “finish reading this” list, I couldn’t resist the urge to take a fresh dive into the world of one (well, two) of my favourite Avengers. Natasha Romanoff and Bucky Barnes are going to be where it’s at for me for a while, if the first clutch of episodes are any indication – and you can check out my thoughts on them at the links below:

Going forward, I’ll be posting a review of each episode on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays until Season 1 is complete. Then I will do my best to start tackling that dusty backlog…


Completed Reading
  • Slippery Creatures (The Will Darling Adventures #1) by KJ Charles – 5/5
  • Baker Thief by Claudie Arseneault – 4/5
  • Carved From Stone and Dream (Los Nefilim #5) by T. Frohock – 5/5
  • Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – 5/5
  • Deal With The Devil (Mercenary Librarians #1) by Kit Rocha – 5/5

This is a wildly mixed bag of book selections, but I would thoroughly recommend every one of them.

Slippery Creatures will serve you up a delicious plate of spy thriller with queer romance on the side, if you’re in the mood to yell at the main characters for being stubborn idiots (in the fun way);

Baker Thief will do a lot of the same, but with decidedly more ace/aro representation – and with a tasty helping of interesting fantasy worldbuilding too;

Carved From Stone and Dream is the latest entry in a series I cannot get enough of, and will sorely miss when it’s over – but by then I fully intend to have a complete set of paperbacks to curl up with for rereads. It’s that good.

Mexican Gothic was July’s “can’t put this down” book. It was my first proper taste of Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s work, and it absolutely knocked my socks off. I think I finished it in about six hours. Literally couldn’t stop reading, and now I want more.

Deal With The Devil was very high on my list of this year’s most anticipated books, and it absolutely did not let me down. Whether you’re a fan of Kit Rocha’s previous series, the Beyond novels, or you’re coming into their post-apocalyptic world with fresh eyes, this is well worth your time. I loved every second of it, and I. Need. More.

Nine Hearths

So there was a scheduling delay last month which meant we pushed June’s game into early July, but being back on track afterwards meant we got to play twice this month!

The first game of the month was largely a combat-fest – a small mountain village had a Wolfyn (werewolf-ish creatures) infestation problem, and our party rolled up our sleeves to help clear them out. But naturally it wasn’t that simple – they showed up with a spellcaster, for one thing, and my paladin took a bunch of spear attacks and got pretty messed up before we scared the invaders into fleeing. But it all worked out because our tiny Halfling bard once again displayed her capacity for badassness and took down their spellcaster! Seriously, I think she’s becoming the unstoppable one in the party.

The next game was a lot more sedate: we discovered that a local landmark was in fact a cleverly disguised mage’s tower, and when we figured out how to get inside we generally had an investigative ball, exploring every room (cautiously, in some cases) and finding a lot of useful and/or intriguing information, some of which will most certainly have to be followed up on.

But before we could all go to sleep for the night, the long-absent mage’s security system (they had an impressive one, you guys) alerted our party to the fact that our own home town was under attack. Naivara, my paladin and the regional lord’s daughter, promptly panicked. And our DM ended the game there because she is evil and enjoys our suffering.

What else is there?

Last time I wrote up a recap, I mentioned I was playing with the idea of a queer SFF marathon as a fundraising effort. This plan is still coming together, but slowly, and because I want to do something like this/continue writing and blogging without pushing myself any closer to physical injury (leg and back pain is a real problem at the moment) it would be sensible to have a proper desk/writing area set up first. I also want to do it right, and so I now have a shopping list that includes things like a desktop microphone and a decent webcam. So it will happen slowly, but I hope to make it happen as soon as I’m properly set up for it.

But I’m still looking for feedback! Would you guys even like to watch/listen to me reading SFF stories out loud for a good cause? And I’m still considering platform options so your recommendations are very welcome, if you have experience with this sort of thing.

Lastly, as always, if you appreciated any of this content and would care to support me, there’s a Ko-fi account over here for the continued caffeination of a consistently confounded … nerd. I can’t think of another word for ‘nerd’ that starts with a C and is polite. If you can, feel free to comment!

I’ll see you next time. I’ve got nerdy things to do.


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